TV presenting can be challenging at any time but I think perhaps that pregnancy is the hardest time I’ve faced in the last 15 years on screen. It’s an incredibly special, uniquely private and personal few months and yet, for better or worse, you’re sharing this time with millions of people.
Feeling good in what you’re wearing is absolutely the only way through and so I was thrilled to discover luxury maternity clothing label Tiffany Rose when I was first pregnant back in 2010 – I’ve been a huge fan ever since as the clothes are beautiful, interesting, flattering and above all else, incredibly comfortable!
Tiffany is a huge inspiration to me – and many other mumpreneurs – at just what can be achieved with passion and hard work and I’m thrilled to feature her story here on my website x
Tiffany Rose Mumpreneur
I founded Tiffany Rose 12 years ago when my pregnant sister struggled to find a stylish maternity dress to wear to her friend’s wedding. I wanted to help – so took to the internet to find the perfect frock. However, I was genuinely surprised how little choice there was, and it wasn’t very exciting at that! I was convinced that my sister couldn’t be the only one in search of something fabulous for a special occasion – and this sewed the seed for Tiffany Rose.
Starting up Tiffany Rose
With an initial investment of just £600, I embarked on launching my new maternity occasion wear label from my living room in Streatham Hill. I taught myself Photoshop and basic html coding so that I could put together a simple website selling maternity designs from around the world that weren’t available in the UK. Following this I started work on my own label and sourced British manufacturers across the country who could help me bring my designs to life. It was great fun attending fabric shows and discovering beautiful stretch laces and British made jerseys. By focusing on high quality, unique fabrics, elegant styles, classic tailoring, it seemed Tiffany Rose (without knowing it at the time) was heralding a change in the way pregnant women viewed maternity wear. It felt like a pipe dream then, starting up and sketching out business plans on the kitchen table. I didn’t know at the time that it would ever grow to the size it is now – the internet offered an efficient route to market for my niche product and the launch of my business coincided with when online retail really started to boom.
Now in its twelfth year, Tiffany Rose is going from strength to strength as we enter into markets including the US, Germany, Norway, Australia, Sweden and Denmark. It’s incredible to think that Tiffany Rose is sold in over 80 countries worldwide, and in 2013 we were thrilled to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of our strong international sales.
Two years after launching Tiffany Rose, I was lucky enough to become a mum. With both my children (just 17 month apart!) I scheduled work around nap times – making phone calls, processing and packing orders, liaising with my manufacturers and dealing with customer enquiries. In the afternoon I would race to the post office – kids in their buggy and Tiffany Rose customer orders swinging from the handles. Evenings was the time I spent on admin and accounting, making sure I had a really good handle on our costs. My husband helped me on the tech side and so we’d often stay up to the early hours to try to get ahead and work on exciting new projects.
There’s no denying that starting a business at the same time as starting a family is a huge challenge! But it is one that I have relished, all the way. My husband has been on this journey with me and he is now a full time Director of Tiffany Rose. My son and daughter who are now 8 and 10 years old are are already helping out in the warehouse during school holidays – a great excuse for some pocket money!
I feel extremely privileged to have a strong network of friends and family, who are hugely supportive and have been there when I needed help. My big tip for anyone running a business with a family is to not be too proud to ask for help when needed! You’ll often be surprised who is willing to give you a hand, and that can make all the difference.
From the outset, I have been a huge advocate of British manufacturing with each and every Tiffany Rose garment designed, draped and manufactured in the UK. Our in–house design team is based in Surrey and our manufacturing partners are located all over England. Manufacturing in Britain has by far been the toughest business challenge, but we have managed to locate the best manufacturers that this country has to offer. We have even helped one of our designers to create her own manufacturing business, and she now employs her own seamstresses and offers us a fantastic service.
The future for Tiffany Rose is to keep to our core values, no matter how large we become.
To continue to offer pregnant women all around the world the opportunity to look and feel incredible when attending a special occasion. For our customers to enjoy unsurpassable British-made quality, unique and elegant maternity designs, beautiful and flattering styles and unrivalled customer service.
2015 has been a very exciting year for us… Following huge demand, we have launched a non-maternity line called Alie Street, bringing together everything that is special about Tiffany Rose to the mainstream market. We are excited about this, and the highlight of Alie Street so far was having the opportunity to dress Judy Murray for Wimbledon. Seeing Judy cheering on Andy at Centre Court in one of our dresses was an unforgettable moment!
I am lucky enough to have built a fantastic team of talented individuals based at our Surrey HQ who are incredibly hardworking, and equally passionate and supportive. Everyone has a deep desire to build on Tiffany Rose’s success, and we often promote from within enabling the team to thrive, feel valued and to gain respect from one another.